(Barrie, ON) As part of the City of Barrie's Active Transportation vision, work is underway to create a continuous, well-connected and safe active transportation network for residents and visitors that supports recreational and commuter active transportation opportunities. The City undertakes comprehensive transportation planning for all modes of transportation (automobile, transit, cycling, walking) through the completion of the Transportation Master Plan, a forward-looking planning document.
In 2020, the City constructed 12.7 km of cycling infrastructure, including multi-use trails, bicycle lanes and urban shoulders. One of the most significant active transportation projects last year was the reconstruction of Hurst Drive between Minet's Point Drive and Brennan Avenue, which added a multi-use trail and bike lanes. The completion of this work now provides uninterrupted connectivity from Big Bay Point Road to the City's waterfront and the North Shore Trail.
In 2021, the City is undertaking its largest cycling initiative to date with the launch of the Cycle Barrie Infrastructure Program. Upcomingactive transportation projects include the following:
New Harvie Road/Big Bay Point Rd./Highway 400 overpass will include buffered bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides (scheduled to open in late June 2021)Bell Farm Road from St. Vincent St. to Duckworth St. right-of-way expansion, including the addition of on-road dedicated bike lanes (scheduled to be complete by October 2022)Big Bay Point Road transportation improvements, including bicycle lanes from Bayview to Huronia (tentative completion date in 2023)Implementation of cycling lanes on Little Avenue and Johnson Street (tentative completion in fall 2021)Adding cycling lanes on Hanmer Street and Bayview Drive (future project, subject to Council approval)
“Cycling is more popular than ever, and walking and cycling have so many benefits for our community—they improve physical health, promote social interaction, and reduce road congestion and greenhouse gas emissions," says Michelle Banfield, Director of Development Services. “As the city grows, Barrie is committed to developing a comprehensive active transportation network to support residents today and into the future."
The City'sActive Transportation and Sustainability Advisory Committee meets monthly to discuss ways to promote and facilitate active transportation initiatives. Committee members are dedicated to the protection, maintenance and awareness of the environment within the community and to provide advice concerning environmental policy, planning and sustainability.
Active transportation is component of the City'sdraft new Official Plan, which is now open for public feedback. Designing complete streets is included in the draft Plan as a means to provide safe and easy to use transportation options. The Complete Streets standards in the draft Plan detail that development proposals that create new roads should accommodate walking, cycling, transit and driving, while prioritizing pedestrian safety. It also outlines Active Transportation Zones to provide safe, efficient and accessible pedestrian and cyclist movement.
In addition, the City is recognizing May 31 to June 30 as Bike Month, which is an opportunity for people to try riding a bike for the first time, learn new skills and have fun. It's a chance to explore your neighbourhood by bike, celebrate cycling and introduce cycling to the next generation of riders.
FactsActive transportation is embedded inBarrie City Council's strategic goals of fostering a safe and healthy city, building strong neighbourhoods, and improving the ability to get around. The goals are focused on promoting recreation opportunities for all ages and abilities, building a greener Barrie while mitigating and adapting to climate change, and creating walkable, connected neighbourhoods.Barrie has over47 km of cycling infrastructure in addition to cycling trails located in City parks.Bike racks are available on all Barrie Transit buses. They are free, easy to use and have instruction labels.Barrie has bicycle locking posts and racks on Dunlop Street and at Meridian Square. There are also bike racks at City Hall, all recreation centres, library branches, the transit terminal and both GO Stations.The City works in partnership with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and local school boards to help promote theOn the Move initiative, with the goal of encouraging families and students to choose active transportation to school.
For more information on the City's active transportation strategy, upcoming projects and resources, visitbarrie.ca/ActiveTransportation.
The City of Barrie
(705) 739-4220 ext. 4578